exhibits

History

Aircraft By Type

Crop Dusters

Aircraft Make & Model:
Boeing Stearman PT-17
MTOW:
Range:
Speed:
Seats:
Length:
24 ft., 10 in.
Wingspan:
32 ft., 2 in.
Height:
9 ft., 4 in.
Engines:
Continental R-670
HP or Thrust:
220hp
No. flown by DL:
31
RoutesFlown:
Advantages:
Drawbacks:
First Delivery:
1945
First Scheduled Service:
Reason Aquired:
Replaced the older Huff Daland Dusters.
Last Retirement:
1966
Reason Disposed:
Delta stopped crop-dusting in 1966, and sold its dusting operations in 1967.

Narrative:  Boeing Stearman PT-17 1945-1966


Post-War Stearmans Replace Earlier Dusters

When Delta's headquarters moved to Atlanta in 1941, the crop-dusting operations stayed based in Monroe, Louisiana. The Dusting Division contributed to World War II efforts on the Home Front: dusting food and cotton crops, and also mosquito breeding areas to prevent malaria near military bases and war plants.

"During the war years, we dusted more than ever because there was national food problem, and the economy needed food and cotton. The Dusting Division had an 'A' priority on anything including pilots."
Gene Berry, 1965

After the war, Delta acquired surplus military Boeing Stearman PT-17 planes and converted them for crop-dusting work. Boeing Stearmans gradually replaced the older Huff Daland Dusters.

By December 1954, Delta's Agricultural Division (the renamed Dusting Division) owned 31 Boeing Stearmans and 2 Huff Daland Dusters.

Delta stopped dusting in 1966, and sold its dusting operations in 1967. 

More Information

Pictures
  • Stearman PT-17 engine
  • boeing_stearman
Videos
  • Crop Dusting (Rare Footage)
  • Boeing Stearman PT-17 Radial Engine Start Up and Take Off